Two Valentine’s Day Cocktails Bring the Wine and the Spirits

Valentine’s Day is this Tuesday, and that means romantic hearts everywhere will take the opportunity to tuck into some good dinners, decadent desserts, and sweet cocktails. Whether you choose to enjoy said libations before, during, or after your meal, here are two festive drink options to enliven your special night. The former is made with Jam Jar Sweet White Wine, the latter with The Bitter Truth Pink Gin. Having sampled each of these within the past week, I am pleased to share my impressions of them and recommend the following Valentine’s Day contenders for your drink menu with honesty and without reservation for simple reasons explained below.

Cham Pom Jam

  • 1 ¼ cups Jam Jar Sweet White
  • 1 ¼ cups dry sparkling white wine or seltzer
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate juice
Garnish with pomegranate seeds. Serve in a flute glass. Makes 4 glasses.


Reviewer’s note: I’ve written on more than one occasion in the past about how being an astute, fair-minded reviewer of wines and spirits has nothing to do with how much one likes what one is reviewing. Some of you reading this may call BS on that statement, but it’s the one thing that’s been hammered into my head by every classroom instructor I’ve ever had.  In order to treat a product fairly, one must review it not on the basis of personal preference, but on its merits; that is, by the metrics deemed appropriate and desirable by the established standards of the industry to which it belongs. I preface the statements to follow thus in order to make clear that my long-established history of personally caring little for sweet wines detracted not at all from my experience with this product or the cocktail that features it.

The wine, a pale straw-colored pour of middling body, gives up tropical fruit aromatics like pineapple and banana with subtle lychee and honey lurking beneath. On the tongue, it declares again the lychee and honey with strong supporting reminiscences of stone fruit. Its medium-length finish expresses the pineapple along with a fleeting burst of ripe apricots. The claim this wine stakes to the cocktail is aided by the tartness of pomegranate, which tempers the wine’s more sugary characteristics. Together, these, along with the textural excitement  added by a dry white or seltzer (I cannot recommend a dry sparkling white strongly enough) make for an attractive cocktail that’s balanced and fun enough to encourage enthusiastic sipping and multiple refills.

The Garden Cocktail

 Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.


Reviewer’s note: Here again, was a sampling experience with a product from which I drew favorable impressions for all that it brings to the table. This, despite my having had little appreciation for gin in the past, a stance from which I had to divorce myself going in. This spirit goes down more smoothly than most of its ilk that I’ve encountered. With aromatics that speak more of licorice, fresh citrus, and candied berries than of medicinal herbs (though the presence of the latter in its bouquet is undeniable) this gin lacks the jagged edges and astringency that less refined examples have displayed. The proof in the pudding is that I’ve enjoyed several more glasses of the gin product over the rocks since my initial sampling for the purpose of this post, and I doubt I’m alone with regard to enjoying it in such manner.

Paired with the crispness of cucumber and the playful brightness of elderflower liqueur—an addition that flirts with flavors like lychee, pear, and white flowers without settling on any singular element, forever embodying all yet none—this green, Springtime-flavored cocktail is one that must be experienced rather than described in order to be fully appreciated.

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